A custom tailor made suit has long been a symbol of the business elite. Cut for each individual and made with the utmost in craftsmanship, custom suits deliver the best fit and quality though attached to a hefty price tag. That was true as recently as three years ago. Now with the advent of digital technology and a glut of skilled labor, custom suit prices have slowly come down and become more affordable to a larger segment of the American population.Going the custom suit route’s popularity is evident in the fact that retailers such as Nordstroms and Saks have reported that luxury purchases have be on the decline due to the tough economy where they have been seeing a steady decline in ready made suit sales, yet, during this same time period a growth in the custom suit industry has been very pronounced, seeing double digit percentage increases. custom suits nj
Made to Measure, Custom and Bespoke
In today’s market place made to measure, Custom and bespoke are the three tiers of custom suits available. Each encompasses a completely different process and philosophy in custom suit making, yet, in the US especially, the terms are often interchangeable and have been a source of confusion for many consumers. The most abused term is Bespoke, which is universally considered the top tier of custom tailoring, and many custom makers use the term to describe their suits, yet they really offer made to measure or a custom make.
The term originates from the streets of London’s Savile Row, a row of shops famous since the late 1800’s for the tailors who create some of the best custom military dress uniforms as well as custom suits. Legend has it that custom tailors would let customers know that a specific fabric is no longer available because it had already “been spoken for”. Today bespoke custom suits are synonymous with quality hand made craftsmanship. In countries such as England and France the term is protected by law, to be used to describe ones product only under strict guidelines.
What Makes a Custom Suit Bespoke
Bespoke custom suits are an exercise in details, with every effort made to create perfection. While many of the steps needed to create the suit may seem like overkill, it is exactly this philosophy that makes a bespoke custom suit what it is. There are three major ingredients that set a bespoke suit apart from its made to measure and custom counterparts:
- It starts from the hands of the Master tailor or Pattern Cutter-
This is what makes it rare and unique, the fact that it starts its life from the artist hands. Made to measure and custom’s measurements are usually taken by a sales person or tailor that will not be directly involved in the creation of the suit. If you are not measured by the Master Tailor or the actual pattern maker, It is not a bespoke custom suit.
- Bespoke custom suits start as an imperfect pattern based on the clients measurements.-
A bespoke suit is created from a hand drawn pattern and requires multiple fittings using a baste (lightly sewn) garment to perfect a pattern. Made to measure starts from a ready made pattern being adjusted to your size while custom is delivered as a finished garment usually with out any fittings. If you are not fitted using a half made baste garment it is not a bespoke custom suit.